I spent much of the summer taking care of piles and messes that accumulated during the busy school months. Which means, of course, that the summer was busy, too! Cleaning up, cleaning out, I eliminated excess, trimmed fat, and reorganized. (And made about 10 visits to a local donation center!)
One particularly efficient day in August, I was re-ordering my entire kitchen. Every shelf was emptied and cleaned. I got rid of things we hadn't used in years. I grouped like objects together.
And then I came across this blob bowl (see picture). It's a pottery bowl shaped by my daughter's little 6-year-old fingers, painted in late-summer hydrangea blossom shades of pink and purple. My efficient project was brought to a stand-still as I debated whether or not to throw this thing away.
Stymied by indecision, I set the blob bowl on the counter to "think about it." It sat there for a week or so, and I daily said to myself, "I've never used it and I probably never will." But I couldn't throw it away.
Then one morning, I knew what to do. With no indecision whatsoever, I placed it carefully next to my mother's china in the cabinet built by my husband. And there it will remain, the grubby, sweet grandchild to my elegant china set. All of them full of memories.
So the lesson to myself is this: be efficient and move with clarity until something calls to your heart to stop and feel and pay attention. It's the natural rhythm. Clean up, clean out, rest.